Alexander Bikbov

A short bio- and bibliography

Alexander Bikbov
sociologist, editor, translator


Current academic affiliations:

Lotman Institute at Ruhr University Bochum (Germany), visiting professor

Centre for Russian, Caucasian and Central European Studies (Paris), associate fellow


A Book

2014 The Grammar of Order: A Historical Sociology of the Concepts That Change Our Reality, Moscow, Publishing House of Higher School of Economics (2nd edition 2016).


Selected publications in international languages

Research papers

2023 ʺLa matrice d’une révolution intellectuelle: le marché des traductions en sciences humaines et sociales en Russie après 1990ʺ (with Daria Petushkova), Actes de la recherche en sciences sociales, 1-2 (246-247).

2022 ʺ‘Une péripétie du gouvernement’: la sociologie soviétique entre incitation et répressionActes de la recherche en sciences sociales, 3-4 (243-244).

2021 ʺWhich Place for Radical Trial in Genetic Structuralism and in Pragmatic Approach? SocietàMutamentoPolitica, 12(23).

2021 ʺKeep the City Clean: Ambiguous Ethics of Non-Violent Protests in Moscow,ʺ in M. Ege et J. Moser (eds.). Urban Ethics. Conflicts about the ‘Good’ and ‘Proper’ Life in Cities. London / New York, Routledge.

2017 ʺNeo-traditionalist fits with neo-liberal shifts in Russian cultural policy,ʺ in Lena Jonson et Andrei Erofeev (eds.). Russia – Art Resistance and the Conservative-Authoritarian Zeitgeist. Routledge.

2017 ″Representation and Self-Empowerment: Russian Street Protests, 2011–2012,″ Russian Journal of Philosophy and Humanities, Vol. 1, 1.

2015 ″Offizieller Traditionalismus und Protestalternativen in Russland,″ Religion und Gesellschaft in Ost und West, 4-5.

2012 ″The Methodology of Studying “Spontaneous” Street Activism (Russian Protests and Street Camps, December 2011—July 2012),″ Laboratorium, 2.    [extended version in Russian]

2012 ″Mobilisation à Moscou : ni « manifestations de l’opposition », ni « révolution arabe »,″ Mouvements, 12 janvier.

2009 ″ A Strange Defeat: The Reception of Pierre Bourdieu’s Works in Russia,″ Sociologica, 2-3.

2009 ″ Is Sociology the Same Discipline in Russia and France? A Brief Political Micro-History,″ Laboratorium, 1.    [extended version in Russian]

2008 ″Der Begriff ‚Persönlichkeit‘ als Indikator latenter Bürgerlichkeit im ‚spätsozialistischen‘ Sowjetstaat,″ in Alexander Haardt, Nikolaj Plotnikov (Hrsg.), Diskurse der Personalität. Die Begriffsgeschichte der ‚Person’ aus deutscher und russischer Perspektive. München: Wilhelm Fink Verlag.

2005 ″ Fragliche Autonomie. Zur Lage der Soziologie im heutigen Russland,″ Berliner Journal für Soziologie, 3.    [extended version in Russian, part 1 and part 2]


Critical reflexion and interviews

2023 ″In Russia, has the fairytale author-turned-warlord just saved the king?,″ openDemocracy, 4 July.

2023 ″Prigozhin e Putin, l’oscuro patto fra pubblico e privato che segna il neomercantilismo russo,″ MicroMega, 6 luglio.

2022 ″Sciences sociales en Russie : le retour de la censure″ (entretien avec Alexander Bikbov, propos recueillis par Noé Le Blanc, Héloïse Nez), Mouvements, 4 (112).

2022 ″Inequalities and resistance in Putin’s Russia″ (interview with Alexander Bikbov by Asia Leofreddi), Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso Transeuropa, 15 November. [italiano]

2022 ″La Russia di Putin, un regime neomercantilista disseminato di focolai di resistenza,″ MicroMega, 14 ottobre.

2016 ″The Neoliberal State of Higher Education in Russia,″ The Russian Reader, 22 July.     [original publication in Russian]

2016 ″Propaganda and Control in Today’s Russian Society,″ Realnoe Vremya (English version), 8 July.     [original publication in Russian]

2016 ″Storie dalla Russia che si oppone a Vladimir Putin,″ un’intervista di Andrea Pipino a Aleksandr Bikbov, Internazionale, 15 settembre.

2016 ″Alexandre Bikbov, ou les nouvelles formes de dissidence en Russie,″ Rue89Lyon, 24 janvier 2016.

2014 ″Self-trial through Protest,″ Moscow Art Magazine. Digest 2007-2014.

2013 ″The Second Year of the Russian Protest Movement,″ Drawing Protest (Exhibition Newspaper), Museum of Contemporary Art Leipzig, 19.10.2013–19.01.2014.

2012 ″Une étiquette commode pour les opposants russes,″ Le Monde Diplomatique, mai.     [Does Russia have a middle class?]     [Deutsch]     [italiano]     [português]     [español]     [беларускі]     [العربية]     [język polski]

2010 ″ How Russian Universities Became the Future of World Education,″ Universities in Crisis, May 3.    [français]   [język polski]

2009 ″ Russia, in morte di un avvocato″ (intervista di Lucia Sgueglia), Alias, 31 gennaio.

2009 ″ Assassinats de Stanislav Markelov et Anastasia Baburova″ (entretien réalisé par Arthur Clech), Le blog de RusseRennes2, 22 janvier.

2008 ″ The Attacks on Russian Activists: Who Stands to Gain?,″ Chtodelat news, November 20.    [originally in Russian]

2008 ″ On Practice and Critique (with Dmitry Vilensky),″ Transform, 06.    [на русском]   [Deutsch]   [español]

2007 ″ Solidarietà con gli studenti moscoviti,″ intervista di Francesca di Mattia, nel suo blog, 15 marzo.


Research papers in Russian, focused on education and educational reform, socialized physical space, social imagery and social order, inequalities and social justice, sociology of science and of intellectual world, might be found here. Critical analysis of current social and political trends, interviews and talks, mostly in Russian, are collected here. Critical analysis developed in the form of reviews of recently published books is presented here.


Research projects

since 2011: Civil Protest and Mass Street Rallies in Russia (for results see academic papers and public talks referenced above);

since 2003: Perception of Socio-professional Hierarchies and Legitimacy of Inequalities in Russia, France and Italy (results are presented in various Russian publications and international conferences);

since 1996: Sociology and Philosophy as Professions in Russia and France, 1950s-2010s (some of the results are presented in academic papers referenced above);

2017: The City from the Inside, a Study of Moscow Social Diversity and Vulnerability as a Publicly “Invisible” Reality (for more details see the program of a public lecture cycle);

2007-2015: Intellectual Intermediaries in Russia, New Agencies and Strategies of the 1990s-2000s (the results are presented mostly in Russian publications);

2002-2014: Historical Sociology of Key Political Concepts in Contemporary Russian Society (see a book TOC);

2004-2007: Prisons Information Group in France, Intellectual Commitment on Political Scene (a short book and papers of a milestone conference are published in Russian);

2000-2005: Models of Cultural Consumption in Contemporary Russian Society (results are presented mostly in Russian);

1999-2003: Institutions and Concepts of the Russian State Science Policy, in the 1990s (thesis project).

Member of international projects focused on: personality concepts in Russian and German intellectual context in XVII-XXI centuries (2005-08), diffusion of intermediate results of university researches (2007-08), experts in 1990s’ transformations of public policy in Russia and France (1999-2002), international circulation of books and ideas in social sciences (1996-98).


Other intellectual and public activities

Scientific coordinator of Independent research initiative (NII mitingov), a mixed group studying mass street protests in Russia, since December 2011.

Editor and translator into Russian of publications by Pierre Bourdieu, Michel Foucault, Maurice Halbwachs and contemporary French sociologists.

Editor of collective monographs and special issues on experimental infractions of social order, political and economic conditions of critical cultural production, sociology of philosophy, contemporary social theories of social space and time, contemporary French humanities.

Coordinator of public discussions on education and educational reforms, on activism and social movements, on social organisation of humanities and its public effects, on information about prisons in Russia and France.


Previous affiliations

2018-2021 École des Hautes Études en sciences sociales (Paris), visiting professor;

2002-2019 interdisciplinary review Logos (Moscow), member of editorial board;

2009-2017 Centre for Contemporary Philosophy and Social Sciences at Philosophy Department, Moscow State University, deputy director;

2013-2014 lecturer in the Higher School of Economics (Moscow);

2009-2012 Laboratorium. Review of Social Research (Russian/English), member of editorial board;

2008-2011 non-fiction book review Pushkin (Moscow), deputy editor-in-chief;

2008-2010 blog-platform for social movements Dvizhenie (in Russian), co-moderator;

2003-2008 Russian State University of Humanities, associate professor;

2004-2006 Smolny College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (Petersburg), full-time professor;

1999-2008 informal sociology research and study group NORI (Moscow), coordinator;

1998-2003 Institute of Sociology, Russian Academy of Sciences, research fellow.



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